The term reminds probably first of all on skirt seams or other textile forms of appearance. Yet a walking path can be seamed by flowers, a street by a crowd of people and a field can be seamed by seam plants as botanists say. Poetry even knows the „seam of the forest“.
Seams are flexible border areas, often lush and thick in consistence. As opposed to rigid borderlines they soften the transition from one area to the other, they often serve as adornment too.
From my interest in the transition zone between urban border areas and vegetation and my fondness for the dandelion plant had arisen a dialogue with the art society Syke at the end of the year 2015. I was offered the opportunity to design an exhibition for the building of the Alte Posthalterei (historic postal post) in Syke in order to present the Seams of Syke in October 2016.
For exploration and to collect motives I made excursions to the communal area of Syke in the early year and now and then again as well. With my art I made visible the so found seams by means of painting and collage.
the quadripartite ensemble: these four paintings were created and set up as one work and then also exhibited in this constellation
a seam on the spot of the exhibition! Some walls in the building Alte Posthalterei are painted-on with a very colourful and dominant bordure – here is a photo of my artistic response put up in situ
Where velvety moss meets cold steel, a crumbling curb stone is drawing a natural line or meadow flowers are breaking through between pavement slabs, that's where Kirsten Kosubek's thrill of the chase is roused. Almost a year ago, with thorough botanical knowledge and equipped with the obligatory camera she has set off towards the near afar - to Syke - for to hunt visual prey for her work at the Delmenhorst atelier. Her defined aim: to paint seams.
Kirsten Kosubek's proceedings equal the ones of a researcher scientist when she systematically analyses the term and marks her ways for future explorations. But it reminds too on the behaviour of a nomad, always in motion, adapting to seasonal changes. Nevertheless her stops en route are also similar to the stays of an artist in residence: invited by the Kunstverein Syke (art society) she lets herself in with the local givens and joins in to play the role of the discoverer of a new continent. Lastly mentioned therefore reminds as well on the novel "Songlines" by Bruce Chatwin - in which the migration paths of the Australian aborigines can be found by way of a series of mythological images. So, are there songlines of Syke ?
The study of maps for all fans of travelling and the curious is at the beginning. By way of giving the area of survey a palpable form in the true sense of the word, the work "Forscherpfade Syke" ("Explorer's paths") is opening the scenario. Immediately it is becoming apparent that Kirsten Kosubek not only conceives seams botanically but in obvious terms of textiles and matter too. This comes not by chance since she occasionally likes to play with the materials after all as well - so to view in the grass and yarn seamed work "Syker Wappen" ("Arms of Syke") which is displayed on the invitation card. Likewise with a wink she reacts to the interieur of the Alte Posthalterei (historic building and postal post). One finds a painted bordure on some walls there which she has to deal with as a dominant visual element for her curation. So she has decided out of hand to include it and playfully reinterpret it.
Where natural materials, yarn threads and photo prints as parts of collages become her means of composition on one side, she is quintessentially a painter on the other side. Thus she converts the digital instant photo shot from her explorations into the analoge and significantly slower act of painting. In the work "Ränder" ("Margins") she translates these collages of images into a most precise and closely watched painting which discovers a whole cosm within the small scale. Like with the ubiquitous plastic clips of the Hansebeton works (factory for concrete products). Exactly there Kirsten Kosubek is in her element.
However her crucial concern may be the naturalistic depiction, her latest works offer compositions experimenting partly with voids. So towards the onlooker of a painting the verge of the depicted asphalt-paved street fades into the white of the canvas (in "Parkstreifen" / "Parking lane") and together with the symbols of civilization - trash bins and reflector posts - it does form a, on one hand, permeable but primarily central and distinct line. A songline?
Hardly likely we might think, that is. Yet it is precisely this gentle coming together of nature and the man-made environment which sounds like a motive for the artist. With this in mind the more faint, in light sepia tone colours conducted works are coming up with a varity of seams interpretations. The deliberately retained choice of colours does not only focus the view, it also reminds on dream images. Thus one feels tempted to interpret the seams of Syke in the light of songlines inspired by Bruce Chatwin. They raise our awareness for the sprouting wayside jungles, put into focus the small verge between man and nature, yet they do offer hope too - because within a few weeks without human interference everything will be seamed with mosses, grasses and leaves.
Aneta Palenga, scientist of art (October 2016)
(translated by Kirsten Kosubek, October 2016)